Sewing Tools of Note (11): Clover Wonder Clips

wonder-clips-close-up

Oh yes, I love Wonder Clips! Created by Clover of Japan (the creators of some of the most desirable and imaginative haberdashery and notions around) – these amazing little clips, which I first used about 18 months ago (slow on the uptake, as ever), have become indispensable for my sewing.

Here are just some of their uses…

They are brilliant in any situation where you need to hold a lot of layers together, where pins just bend or distort and pucker the fabric, and the line you are trying to sew, Wonder Clips keep everything nicely together, and beautifully neat. They come into their own, for example, when you are sewing the binding on a quilt or when you are sewing a zip into a pouch, bag or cushion.

using wonder clips to hold a zip in place
Using Wonder clips to hold a zip between the outer fabric and lining of a zippy pouch.

The clips have two sides – the curved, colourful top, and the clear, straight base section. The colourful side needs to be facing you when you are stitching, so that the flat side can glide over the throat plate of your sewing machine.

Did you know that Clover Wonder Clips have measuring lines on the back section?

marked-lines-on-the-back-of-the-wonder-clip
Measurement lines marked on the base of a Clover Wonder clip

The standard size clips (there are mini and jumbo versions too) have lines marked at 3/16in, 1/4in and 1/2in, which is super helpful when you are using them to hold a fold in the fabric, as the clip can give you an exact guide to the depth of the fold you are making.

Although Clover suggest that you don’t leave them in place as your stitching goes through your sewing machine, if you use a zipper foot (not always advisable but sometimes you can get away with it), you can get pretty close to the clips without worrying about unclipping them as you go. It’s up to you whether you want to be naughty like me…

using wonder clips to stitch on binding
Using Wonder Clips to bind the edge of a cushion cover. As you can see, I am using a zipper foot and I have used the measuring lines on the back of the clips to position them accurately, so I know I am sewing a nice straight line, just to the left of the clip edge.

Now I have them, I wouldn’t sew vinyl, oil cloth, laminated cotton, leather, or any similar fabrics, without using Wonder Clips. Use pins on any of these fabrics and you have to work really hard to avoid having unsightly holes left in your project after you have removed them, so using clips makes life so much easier.

sewing-laminate
Sewing the binding on some shiny laminate. I’m using a zipper foot again. Shush, don’t tell…

The other great thing about the clips is that the spring is pretty strong, and there is a little grippy section near the point that means they stay securely in place, and don’t slide around, even on shiny fabrics like this laminate.

My other main use for Wonder Clips is when I’m English paper piecing, and preparing the fabric by basting it round paper pieces. It’s quite tricky to hold fabric and paper, hold needle and thread, and keep the fabric folded round the paper shape as you sew, and using Wonder Clips is like having that very necessary extra hand. Here’s what I mean:

Using a Wonder Clip to help when basting English paper pieces
There’s no particular technique to this, I just move the clip around the hexie, to wherever I feel I need the fabric to be held in place. For bigger paper shapes I will use 2 or 3 clips.

Finally, they’re also rather useful when you need to hold fabric, or other craft bits and bobs together after you’ve glued them. One of my mini-hoop swappers shared her idea of using them to hold the glued back in place on a Dandelyne mini-hoop – it worked like a charm for me!

Dandelyne mini hoop using clover wonder clips to secure tip

The great news is that Wonder Clips are become a standard part of any sewing kit, and they are now more widely available in the UK than previously. I am really pleased to see that Cotton Patch (not one of my sponsors, but an excellent shop for all things quilty and stitchy) have bags of fifty clips in stock (gorgeous multi-colours!) and also sell the mini-Wonder Clips and Jumbo Wonder Clips too. Can’t wait to try those!

This post is another in my ongoing bloggy series on my favourite sewing tools… Sewing Tools of Note.

sewing-tools-of-note

13 thoughts on “Sewing Tools of Note (11): Clover Wonder Clips

  1. Well, I am very intrigued by wonder clips. Never heard of them and never seen them. I am not an advance sewer like many of you but I am getting there. Sounds like these little clips are sold in the UK and I live in the US. Thank you I will look for them.

  2. me too, love them for marking sleeve or hems lines when making home-made clothes or altering things as they don’t stick in when you take them off like pins do!

  3. I like them too. they are great for keeping cut pieces organized if you are cutting a bunch to take to lets say a rereat. lol and you don’t want to spend your time cutting out the pieces for the project you plan on working on.

    1. Oooh that’s such a good point, I’d forgotten that I often use them to keep my cut fabric pieces organised in groups and potential blocks! Must do an appendix to this post sometime.😀

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